Thursday, November 16, 2017

mixed metals, mixed styles, a mixed before & after

Well good morning everyone.
A little smallish before and after this morning. It was more of a finish a chore now lets add some pretty kind of thing.
Our upstairs bathroom has not really changed since we renovated it upon moving in 8 years ago. It was a fast "get er done" style renovation because when we moved in, there was no shower on the living levels of this house and I am not a take a bath every day person. When painting this room at the time, we used the wrong paint on the ceiling [just a standard wall paint] we had leftover from painting the rest of the house so it did not fare so well with time to the humidity. Enter the chore.
We needed to properly paint the ceiling with bathroom ceiling paint as the other was peeling around our fan and it literally stared at me every time I took a shower. 
Drove me nuts.
Also, the light installed above our sink was starting to tarnish and not in a good antique way. Little bits that didn't add up to the end of the world but nonetheless needed to be fixed up.
Of course little chores and the domino effect begins. Because why do a little facelift without the pretty parts right?

Enter our updated bathroom. The previous owners that fully renovated our home did not put that toilet in the right spot but, when we moved in we had neither the time nor the money to fully rip up the floor in here and change all the plumbing. The toilet should be behind that wall at the end of the shower and the lovely sink should be here. No offence here but, not thought out by a woman however I guess when you gotta go...... toilet proximity could have a win here. We got rid of the toilet paper stand and mounted the toilet paper to the wall with a roll hanger from Anthropologie. We were both sick of moving the toilet paper right and left, tripping on it. This has already worked out better.


A little refresh of what the room looked like before. Nothing wrong with it but the pillar and small table haven't moved in a long time. We did not repaint the walls because I love the colour so really all of this stemmed out of the ceiling. We still need to caulk our shower as the trim that came with the kit has just seen better days but I'm thinking thats an after Christmas project at this point.

The sink with tarnishing light.

I moved the pillar to the other side of the room and purchased this gold leaf bamboo shelf from wayfair. Super happy with the shelf, not so much with the delivery. It took 3 weeks to get here and was in stock. Don't these people know we get excited?

This room became the epitome of mixed metals and mixed styles. Why do we have to pick just one I ask you. So defined by labels we are. Our original chrome finish in this room is all of our American Standard faucets and then I decided to throw in a ton of vintage brass because I love it. And loving where you live really is the key.

And styles wise we ended up with 5 just by the styling in the shelves. It is my opinion that if things are in a similar colour palette and of course that you love them, they will somehow someway work together. I did decide to do only a few items per shelf ranging from useful to decorative and letting each item stand out.

I hung a collection of African Tonga baskets on the wall in a grouping for maximum impact. I purchased these for the store this past fall and had an idea for them at home so I snuck in a few for me. So happy I did. The height in the items from the shelf and the baskets makes the room feel bigger and visually pushes the ceiling up without a contractor.

New light fixture. Again an item from the store but works perfectly here. This light fixture adding in the "industrial" style to our mix.
 I still love my old ironstone lids on the wall so no real change in artwork. The soap pump is a gorgeous etched marble from Anthropologie.

Alright so truth time. This amazing brass champagne bucket stand was purchased for the shop. It was in the car, loaded into the store, cleaned there and tagged. It just didn't make it onto the floor because every once in awhile a piece starts nagging at me. One I love, don't see very often and have a perfect place for. This stand needless to say got reloaded back in the car, and made the trip back home. I "planted" it with a succulent terrarium top planted with gravel so it is 2 pieces but looks made for each other.

The pillar is now in this corner loaded on top with my current favourite planter from the store piled with grape ivy.

The view from the hallway looking into the bathroom.

Well that's it for my mixed style mixed metal self for today. The Christmas open house is tomorrow and Saturday for the store and this blog will be seeing a lot of Christmas tours, photos and just general sparkle in the coming weeks. It's a magical time of year and no matter the amount of work, pulling out my bins every year just feels exciting. Our home truthfully is almost decked as I love doing it early, plus the store is so busy I run out of time the later I wait but, this year I also have a little birthday to plan for the cutest almost one year old. 2 more weeks and my baby is a whole year. It really is true, time flies when you're having fun.

Have a great day everyone,



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Our Southwest Desert Night at Oliver and Rust

Nothing like a little dirt on your hands and some good food to help you enjoy an evening of fun. Last night the store hosted it's first "new" style workshop to amazing success. The theme of the evening was Southwest Desert: the art of raising cacti and succulents. Below is the table setup in the shop prior to guests arriving and I realize at the end of the night I didn't get a shot of the food because we were too busy eating the churro chips with fruit salsa and black lager chicken flautas to take any photos of it. I did however get a bunch of good shots of the tablescape to share with you and the take home planters our guest received as they finished off the night.

The table was set in all blue and gold tones with a touch of copper. Cactus planters, candles and a little fall nature add the final touch.

With a backdrop of pillows of course. One day sometime in the future [the list is a mile long but dreams never hurt anyone] I hope to have a dedicated workshop space for these types of events that doesn't require us to bust down a part of the store and therefore allows us to hold them more frequently. At most currently we can hold 8 maybe 10 people if we really squish which keeps the workshop intimate but also means we sell out quicker due to space constraints.  After this class, I believe a dishwasher was added to that wish list last night by my wonderful kick ass employees.

Each guest received their own table setting for nibbling, a workshop note area and of course wine glass to enjoy some refreshments. This style of workshop is new for us because of the less hands on approach the actual guest has. In previous workshops Jill and I found that while everyone was interested they were so busy "doing" they missed a lot of the information and instruction which didn't lead to the success they were hoping for with their planter. There was also stress because of worry they were doing it wrong or not actually enjoying the dirt part. We removed this part of the class so that everyone could freely eat, listen and ask questions. They saw their planters being made and still got to choose the actual planter for their home and the decorative touches but without the worry of doing it themselves.

This class had 7 planters to choose from for their take home piece and for the first time everyone chose a different planter. It was awesome to see all of them finished and for the guests to see each piece transformed from a simple pot to finished decorative piece.
This class was a simple take-home cactus piece that will be extremely low maintenance for our attendees. 
Future workshops will include orchid care, black thumb nights, Christmas arrangements and more..... The ideas are endless as long as my energy keeps up. 

Enjoy your day everyone


Friday, October 6, 2017

Set the table: Thanksgiving Autumn bounty

It's Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and that means tables are being set, turkeys being roasted and the liquor store lineup is just a bit longer.

Thanksgiving is not my holiday to cook as I am not a fan of the bird this season goes along with, so our family members such as my lovely Mom take on the Thanksgiving holiday and do the cooking. I do however enjoy setting the table and thought I would share how our table is looking this season and did a little photo op prior to us eating dinner one night.

Autumn is the season for colours and nature and thats exactly what I pulled into this table.

The massive antique dough bowl in the centre of the table usually lives on top of our kitchen cabinets. I pulled it down to load it with all our pumpkins, gourds and dried bits for the table.

I set the table with our general southwest vibe in mind from the rest of the house. I used our super easy jute charger mats that we use every night [also available in store], brown transferware, some speckled white pottery from our everyday set and set the base with a creamy chindi table runner and some lanterns and votives.

My collection is currently insufficient in the amber glass department for more than 2 people but the thrill of the hunt keeps me looking for more.

So what's in the dough bowl? 
Well let's see.
Linen pumpkins [in the shop]
tree fungus/ mushrooms
artichokes from the grocery store
dried tansy and wheat [in the shop]
an airplant [in the shop]
wood fir root ball [in the shop]
and a squash

I just kept moving things around until they made me happy and gave me the look I was after. Harvest happy for the season and super simple.

Have a splendid weekend all,
I'll be back next week with the rest of our fall home tour.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

The fall mantel today and through the years.

Hey all.
It's time for a mantel post for the new season.

It's seriously one of my favourite parts of adding seasonal touches to our home. This monster mantel allows for the mother of all vignettes every season and since I don't really "do" sparse, it lets my little heart just indulge.

On the heels of our living room change up i didn't go total harvest style with our fall decor this year as I was saying and instead let the tones speak to the season. 
I did however totally get sucked into an instagram story by Young House Love with those damn gingko leaves from Crate and Barrel and ended up with 2 of them myself because it was one of those, I NEED THOSE IN MY LIFE moments.

the full view including the never changing tigers by local artist Edward Spera. loads of natural tones, mixed metals and bits of our african decor.

although there aren't a whole pile of pumpkins and wheat up here i am still enjoying the motif for fall. i added the giant metal leaf fronds i picked up at Terrain when we were there.

gives you a shot of how the mantel plays out in the whole room. it takes up the whole end wall of the room and is visible the minute you walk in our front door.

my mom scooped me some of that lunaria; the white sea shell stem looking stuff from her neighbour and it adds a bit more neutral texture to one of our collected trophies

On this year's mantel, textural pot with snake plant, calathea plant, squirrel figurine, old books, and deer statue are all Oliver and Rust store items.

the gingko stem. the leaves look so real when not standing right beside them and are the perfect shade for fall decor. i added another in our bathroom which i will share in the coming days. i kind of feel like it's a happy yellow i will want to pull our for spring as well so double season fun for my money is great.

I also thought it may be interesting to see the mantel arrangements of autumns past.
Below are last years and 2015's versions of our mantel. I still really love both of them and and the look of the pumpkins and wheat but it's nice to change it up a bit as well. All the pieces here have just found other homes in our autumn decor or stayed in their tote this year for something different.



So, how are you making your fall cozy for the season? 

Have a good day everyone,

Do something that makes you feel good today even if it's just saying hi to your neighbour, or having 10 minutes to enjoy a cup of coffee/wine.



Friday, September 29, 2017

Cookbook Review: Michael Smith Real Food

Depending on how long you've followed along on this blog you know that Trevor and I really enjoy good food. I have one of those crazy day planners and at the beginning of the week or whatever day we planned until, I map out our dinners for the week including what we need to buy so nothing goes to waste.
When we were first married I used the "wing it philosopshy" and spent every garbage night throwing half our food and money into the trash as it had spoiled from us not using it.
I was a dental hygienist at the time and miserable at the end of the day and sometimes cooking was just not on the menu when I got home from work.
After a few years of using that method I trashed it and went with the planning method and although it was a bit of a curve to get used to, we haven't looked back.

I also found that when things were planned out I started to enjoy cooking more as the stress of what's for dinner had been decided days ago. There are still some nights we throw out the menu and order takeout or nights where we got home too late and getting Emma to bed and doing paperwork for our respective businesses comes first so pancakes hits the menu instead. Most days we are pretty good however and because of that love of food I tend to collect cookbooks. Real food style cookbooks that work for families, gatherings and couples nights. 

I have started carrying a small selection of local and just plain good books in the shop and thought it might be a neat idea to share a few photos from the recipes that got tested.
Monday's the shop is closed. We use it as a day to regroup but also a day for production. Jill works at my home and we shoot content for the blog, social media, cut 20 thousand tons of fabric, sew and prep food recipes for workshops, blog posts, whatever. It's basically a whatever needs to get done day and we get er done!
This past Monday in between pillow happenings we made a few recipes from the wonderful Michael Smith's new cookbook: Real Food Real Good

A real advocate for eating and consuming honest home cooking that isn't hard but also doesn't come out of the freezer section at the grocery store.

First recipe was a selection from the breakfast pile.

I made the granola and blueberry part the night before so that they would be ready for the morning. The granola yields a ton so that will give me breakfast bits for quite awhile but the combo here was delicious.

I also realized when going to shoot this post that I don't have any of those cute parfait bowls, or glass bowls that allow you to see the layers. I used wine glass cause man do I have wine glasses. What does that say about me that I have enough wine glasses to field an army with booze?

Anyways, drinking habits aside I used 0% Oikos greek yogurt for the yogurt base here and made everything else according to recipe. It was relatively low in sugar with that type of yogurt and sweet but not overly. 
I did my groceries at Zehrs for this recipe whose health food section is not exactly up to snuff but they were the only place open at 9:30 on a Sunday night which yup is sometimes when I get to groceries. #retailmomlife so I substituted a lot of the unfound grain flakes with a muesli mix that worked out just fine.
Add black coffee and all set to go.
Fine you need cream and sugar I won't look.

Those black mugs are newbies in the shop so got a little feature here. Handmade pottery from my wonderful great aunt that can kill anything I throw at her. The lack of colour inside the mug is my coffee, black as night. Should have grabbed Jill's mug for depth as she's a cream gal.

I'm showing the creation of the sauce for a reason. It was so good it could just be eaten with a spoon and skip the rest of the meal making. There was plate licking involved with no apologies at the end of this lunch. It was that freakin' good.

Skewer creation in the works. This recipe included sliced pork tenderloin but could easily be created vegan by substituting other vegetables and omitting the meat.

All grilled up and ready to be consumed. 

I always love perusing a new cookbook and imaging the flavours blending. I am not great about following recipes supper-wise I will admit. I am an inspirational fly by the seat of my pants chef which is kind of how I run my store but I tried to be good and create these true to instruction and they did not disappoint. 
This past week has been donned Michael Smith week and we are 6 recipes into this book and not one has so far disappointed or been overly difficult. Easily done after work with ingredients in hand. Last night was a MOROCCAN STEW WITH COUSCOUS.

Pick up a book in store or give it a look next time you're in a book store in your area.

Have a good day 


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Workshop Alert Niagara Locals: Southwestern Desert Night

Thanks for popping over from Instagram & Facebook.
Please read all details to ensure quick sign up for a fantastic night and avoid any future disappointment

DATE: OCTOBER 10, 2017 
COST: $60.00 plus hst
bonus: 10% off shopping in store for the event

Here's the details pre- signing up for a new style workshop that has been 
brewing for awhile.

Our first foray back into workshops after a summer hiatus will focus on 
"the art of succulents and cacti"

However these are not just the come, plant and go home workshops.

We are combining the art of living and more specifically feasting along with your learning. A real night out to enjoy. Our southwestern desert night will be paired with treats and drinks of similar persuasion. Ahem sangria, salsas? 

Class will begin with full plates and glasses and then

you will learn all the ins & outs of planting succulents and cactus together and the difference between the two. The type of soils to use and why, the lighting requirements and troubleshooting when things are going sideways. How to plant, the different types of plants and what may be the best type for your home.


Based on the learning of the evening, guests are welcome to design a planter of their own creation with planters, succulents and cactus available in store at 20% off or bring a planter you are looking to fill of your own with you to the class and that we would be happy to assist you with. You can get your hands dirty or have us do it for you.

THE NITTY GRITTIES [workshop policies]
- all spaces must be paid in full to reserve seating, no exceptions as classes fill up quickly and we don't want to disappoint people who wish to come
guests can call 905-892-9000 to reserve their seat or visit us in store.

- all seats for workshops are non-refundable. an immense amount of planning and prep work goes into each workshop. supplies are counted and purchased in advance including live plants. if for some reason the unavoidable occurs we will be happy to make your planter for you to pick up at your convenience.

It's the start of a new season of fun and we can't wait to share it with you.
After all plant lady is the new cat lady right?

See you all soon,

Meg & team

Friday, September 22, 2017

Living room shakeup and the domino effect

Well like I promised a while back, the sectional sofa had seen it's last photo op in the Oliver and Rust house. I am going to post a full review about the Ikea Ektorp sectional in the next few posts so if you were or are one of the many people asking how we liked it, would we buy it again the answer will be in there.

Today however, we are going down the road of new. With the arrival of our little lovely lady Emma and having a different focus for our room the divided space which I still to this day love, no longer was conducive to how we needed to live in our space.

Then of course I purchased the "remorse" chairs and the domino effect started with the chair monopoly happening as we moved things around. 
....and since it's the first day of fall today lets do a fall change up tour in this room as well.

So to recap,
new layout
new sofa
old chairs
fall do

Loads to cover so lets get started.

So here she be. Our room is long and quite large but at the end of the room where the  fireplace is the wall where the bathroom is juts in and makes a full room of furniture placement a little awkward. When we moved in 8 years ago it was just the 2 of us and a sectional was a dreamy idea with so much space from our tiny first home, so we split the room in 2. A tv watching area and a conversation fireside area. It worked perfectly for us but did become a little bit of a pain with large groups of people as tons of seating but with backs to each other it made conversation difficult sometimes.  The leather chairs we had from a score on Kijiji years ago and one was in this room but the big wood cupboard so we pulled the other upstairs and moved them into the room floating as a pair again.

Just to recap below this is what our living room has looked like layout wise for about the last 8 years.

We did a lot of hunting for the perfect sofa and I was so close to pulling the trigger on a sectional this style with chaise on wayfair. The nicer sofas we found were either in the high 3000-5000.00 range or were online and we were just nervous to pull the trigger on something we couldn't sit on. I also don't want to be mortgaged to our sofa. I am all about investing in pieces that you plan to keep and spend once rather than many times however with a rambunctious little girl a 5000.00 sofa did not feel like a smart move right now. 
So we bought another ektorp from Ikea. I will cover comfort more in the review post but the difference between this sofa, our previous sectional and even the loveseat/chairs we already own is amazing. They have definitely made improvements that are noticeable immediately.

I chose not to buy a cover from Ikea and instead purchased a linen cover from Bemz. Super super pleased with the speed, craftsmanship and quality of this cover. And immediately the sofa waffles between Ikea and Pottery Barn-ville because the linen cover gives it a bit more plush of a look. The covers are a bit loose which makes putting them on so much easier but also a little give room for the first wash and dry which I will update when I do it.

 When we decided to float the chairs in the middle of the room we ended up with spare furniture. The sofa table had to go, the blanket trunk needed a new home. It was a ton of fun for me to completely rearrange our space and give it a new life.
I put our same end table between the chairs and in order to keep using our table lamp a rug was in order for this side of the room to get the cord to the opposite wall. I didn't want just plain jute or a super trendy rug so hunted out a flat pile super faded red persian style rug. We already had 2 kilim rugs in the halls that join this room so they needed to blend together well. Red isn't really my colour but put it in a rug and I'm all for it.

I didn't go super autumn with my look this year. I didn't add tons of wheat and pumpkins to the living room as with the new "do" I just wanted to enjoy the space and made it say fall more with the colours and textures and of course the pillows.

a cactus here, a wool blanket there

I bought this gold and white plant stand some time ago and have had it in hoarding for the perfect spot and that spot finally came available when I booted the chair that was in this corner. With our new layout the chair outside the laundry room became too much and just in the way so this area which will hold a Christmas tree soon enough is now a perfect little plant corner

 My little model who is thoroughly enjoying being able to view all aspects of the room and get a straight long run around the coffee table.

This is the other pair of chairs that got re-mated. One was in the basement and one was sitting by the laundry room in this room. We will likely find something else for this space in the coming years but I absolutely love the green velvet together over here and in fact I will say this was not my idea. Trevor carried these babies in while I was standing staring at the space and said "there, I like these up here" and low and behold damn it worked out.

Catching bits and glimpses of our fall mantel this year. I will do a separate post with the vignettes up there soon.

So there you have it. A fall space with a new layout and we are completely happy with it. It feels like a whole new space. Emma has commandeered the little corner on the floor with a sheep skin of the sofa and the animals have all picked new spots to lay at night.
Like I said, I really loved the old layout but this just feels lighter and there is definitely less stuff. I know right? it doesn't look like that but trust me there is a lot less.
With quite a few changes happening around here and since Christmas is on its way soon enough I am working on getting an up to date house tour up here as lots has changed since I posted it last year.

Have a great day everyone,